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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Remembering Mom and feeling the sense of loss in her absence
Mother's Day brings memories and grief
Published Saturday, May 8, 2021 7:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

Holidays are not easier after losing your mother, Ashley Mahoney writes. Now they simply happen.

Dear Mom,

Mother’s Day is this weekend. Where would you like to go? What would you like to do? Did I ever ask you that while you were alive?

I cannot remember the details of your last Mother’s Day. There were hydrangeas, white ones. Did I get you a card? You always liked cards. This year, I would buy you carnations and hydrangeas if you were here.

We would scour Charlotte for the best rice pudding, because it was your favorite. I would take the time to find out what you wanted to do to celebrate a day designed to be all about you.

Nearly four years after you died, I would not say holidays are easier. Holidays used to feel like involuntary shut down days, days where everything went dark, without explanation or warning.  Christmas still reminds me of when you were diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.

My birthday still reminds me of stepping off the plane from South Dakota, with you and Dad waiting for me at the airport. I remember you giving me your Monet painting, the one you painted in New York. That was when I knew you were dying. You died two months later.

Holidays are not easier. Now they simply happen. Sometimes they appear with a little more grace and patience. Other times they feel like going to war with myself. An email with a Mother’s Day promotion can incite pandemonium in my head. “Why are they sending me this nonsense? Don’t they know my mom is dead?” That is what part of me screams. Logic reminds me that it is merely an ad campaign, not a personal attack.

We call it the Dead Parent Club. You do not know what it is like until you become a member, and there are members everywhere. Some are young. Some are old. We may not have anything in common, other than being part of the club. Irrational bursts of emotion seem to be part of the membership perks of the Dead Parent Club. Too bad you cannot trade them in for something useful.

I miss you, Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day.

Ashley Mahoney is a multimedia journalist at The Post


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